Tag Archives: MMORPGs

RO2: Legend of the Second

12 Dec , 2012,
Crimson
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My love affair with Rune-Midgard started more than a decade ago, when I first spotted Lee Myung-jin’s Ragnarok manhwa on the shelves of a corner bookstore. There were scant few high fantasy titles back then, and the instant I turned the pages, I was hooked.

Little wonder then, that when Gravity announced Ragnarok Online (RO) in 2003, I scrambled to roll a character on the International (iRO) server and later the free-to-play Anime Connection (ACRO) server.

The game remained one of my little indulgences, and on those cold, dreary nights when the World of Warcraft servers were under maintenance, I’d steal away from Azeroth to Rune-Midgard, to relive my adventures as Gale Vandal, a High Wizard with a penchant for lightning magic.

When I first got wind that Asiasoft‘s next big thing at Licence2Play was gonna be “Ragnarok Online 2: Legend of the Second“, I was elated. I’d been following the game’s progress since it’s Korean Beta in March, and there were many good things to be said about the gameplay, the look, feel and mechanics.

Of course, nothing beats getting a go at the real thing, and here’s our take!

And we’re off to an RO2 adventure~!

RO2 takes place some years after the incidents of the manhwa (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean), with the defeat of the goddess Freyja by Chaos, the mortal incarnation of the god Baldr. Predictably, the peace does not last, and you, as a novice adventurer, are sucked into a conspiracy of epic proportions involving Freyjan cultists, kooky monsters, and BBEGs that have only been hinted at in the opening vid.

Character creation was a breeze.

It was pretty much no frills, and unlike most other free-to-play Korean MMOs out there *coughcoughdragonnestcoughcough* with gender-locked classes, RO2 pretty much gives you free reign in your approach.

Putting together my latest online incarnation was as easy as hitting the gender, which defines your base model, selecting a class (called a job in RO), and a profession (part of the new Dual Life system, which I’ll talk about later). This was followed by some cosmetic tweaks like hair and facial styles, colors and the voice pack, and I was good to go.

RO2’s biggest draw has got to be it’s nostalgia value. It preserves much of the cutesy art direction of it’s predecessor, and the minute you zone into the starter quest hub, you’ll see some familiar faces.

I didn’t know Porings were Plants. But okay… :3

I was secretly rubbing my hands in delight when I spotted my first poring, and laughing in glee as I laid waste to said poring with bolts of fire and ice and zap-happy lightning.

Those porings come in several varieties now, but just like in the original, they explode with a gooey and satisfying ‘pop’. Frips, Lunatics and Fabres also make an appearance early on, together with their higher tiered counterparts. What’s more, most monsters you meet can be scavenged for ‘parts’, which go a long way towards leveling up your Profession.

RO2’s Profession system lets you craft a variety of helpful goods and items with these ‘parts’, and whether you’re an alchemist, artisan, blacksmith or chef, you’ll discover that you’ve got a great many recipes for items that will help you along in your journey.

Later on, you’ll also discover that your profession lets you tap on a powerful ‘guardian’ buff and use several unique abilities by completing a quest and hitting ‘V’ button when your gauge is full.

Just explorin’. My Peco Peco’s red, and red makes me go three times faster~! :3

RO2’s gameplay borrows heavily from other MMOs in the market, and bears a striking similarity to World of Warcraft, which wasn’t a bad thing for a hardcore WOW player like me. It actually made the game feel incredibly familiar (kinda like a cuter, anime-style version of WOW), and that made leveling and getting through the zones a whole lot easier.

Some things that are immediately apparent are the tab targeting system, the UI (which comes in three variations, if you didn’t know), and a queue system for dungeons and instances that teleports you instantly to the dungeon when your party’s full up, the loot system, and a taxi service (like flight paths) that take you from zone to zone.

Also, with questing and story development the focus now, leveling’s become a whole lot easier. Completing quests actually racked up more xp than grinding, which was an RO staple back in the day, and hitting Level 10 in under an hour was pretty doable, if you did it WOW style and utilized the quest tracker feature.

Mobs on the pull up map display are highlighted in red, while quest-givers and turn-ins are marked with ‘!’ and ‘?’ icons, and that’s incredibly convenient.

The quests are also less demanding now (no more killing 1,000 porings or gathering 2,000 soft furs), and that, coupled with an in-game Achievement system that rewards you with Titles that have tangible benefits, makes exploring the world, completing quests, and doing stuff fun. ‘course, there are also Daily Quests, found on Notice Boards around town, which will allow you to rack up that extra bit of gold and xp while you’re in a particular zone.

Daily quests! Just check the Bulletin Board!

Personally, I’m digging the instance system and boss encounters.

While it doesn’t exactly reward you with a whole lot of xp (dungeon grinding isn’t as cool as it is in WOW), dungeon designs are fairly decent, and bosses have their own mechanics and strats that you have to work around.

Not standing in the green stuff’s instrumental in taking out this Poring type boss in the Wolf Den!

Gone are the days of solo MVP hunting – it actually takes a dedicated party of tanks, heals and dps to live through the tough parts, and it’s not quite as simple as just putting up Ice Walls, Storm Gusts and spamming Lord of Vermillion anymore as a High Wizard, or just quaffing pots and hitting Grand Cross as a Paladin.

It’s a nice touch, I think, and I actually had a good time in CBT reminding people not to stand in the fire (yes, WOW raid discipline actually helps a ton).

And since the game’s RO, Job change’s one of the fun parts. Hitting 25 in your first job allows you to switch to a second class, which gives you a host of new spells and abilities.

The only issue here is that as far as I know, there are no respecs (i.e. you don’t get skill point resets) and that means you’ve got to plan the talents you want to put points in pretty early on. (I found a Skill Calculator for RO2 online, and you can access it here!)

You get to do fun things like raining meteors on people, if you go Fire spec.

I’m definitely looking forward to the OBT, which begins on 27 Dec 2012 (that’s like in under 2 weeks time). In the mean, be sure to stay tuned to Asiasoft’s official RO2 website (http://ro2.playpark.net/) and Facebook page for the latest updates and details.

Thanks to the good folks at Asiasoft, we’re also running a raffle! We’ve got some poring keychains to give away, and all you need to do is to follow some simple instructions on our Facebook page here!

Let’s meet up in the Open Beta~! :3

Tyrael, Angel of Justice

7 Sep , 2012,
Crimson
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It’s been a whirlwind few months, with preparations for International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS), a whole buncha crafting projects on the back-burner, a string of media interviews, and conventions to prep for.

That’s why it’s something of a miracle that we’ve actually managed to complete my latest costume – Tyrael, Angel of Justice from Diablo III – and just in time for Singapore Toy, Games and Comic Convention (STGCC) 2012 too!

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“Tyrael, Angel of Justice”
Cosplay by: Crimson of The Neo Tokyo Project
Photo by: Brian Lim Photography
DI wings by: Conjurer CJ

The entire costume was crafted, like our Demon Hunter cosplay costumes, out of blue EVA foam, craft foam, cloth and pleather, and thanks to Brian Lim Photography, we got a really kick ass photo shoot out of it too!

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Can you guess where the shoot location was? XD

More pictures of the costume and scratch build process can be found in our album on Facebook, so check it out there!

You can also catch a glimpse of this suit at The Game Xpo (TGX) this Sunday, because I’ll be competing in the cosplay competition. I’ll also be handing out my latest run of CosCards, so say ‘Hi!’ to Tyrael if you want one! ^_^

Oh yeah, and if you think Tyrael’s good enough to get your Vote, do help me out by sending an SMS to 146073388 with the following:

TGX<SPACE>G16<SPACE>YOUR NAME<SPACE>YOUR NRIC

Votes from supporters make up 30% of the total score for the cosplay competition this time round, so every little bit helps. ^^;;

Each SMS vote costs a nominal sum, and each vote also enters you in a raffle for a chance to win a Kinect console from the organizers of TGX. ^^;;

So thanks everyone in advance, and see you at TGX! ^^

Pokemon Online Game

5 Sep , 2012,
Edric

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Pokemon finally goes online. After all the gaming world has seen vintage series like Warcraft, Final Fantasy and more recently, Elder Scrolls venture onto the online space.

Image Replicated from pokemmo.eu

The basics of the game is similar to the original Pokemon series. The only extra content you get is to play with other players online (not mindless grinding by yourself) and a tournament ranking chart. So what are you waiting for? Get online and be the best Pokemon Master. Remember you Gotta Catch ‘Em All.

To play the game, follow the instructions on pokemmo.eu download page. You are advised to use a legal ROM to play the game. The game is currently compatible with Fire Red v1.0 USA. Using other optional ROMs like Heart Gold or Soul Silver will provide graphical upgrades.

Source: KOTAKU, PokeMMO

Oh! To be a Panda(ren)!

1 Apr , 2012,
Crimson
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As a long time World of Warcraft player, I was curious when I got wind that Mists of Pandaria was in the works.

It was slated to be WOW’s fourth expansion (following The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King and last year’s Cataclysm), and that begged the question – what else can the MMORPG that’s captured the world’s biggest market share do to up the ante?

From the looks of it, a fair bit. Mists introduces a new continent (like duh!) with clearly oriental themes, and implements a good number of changes including better customization at character creation, a more streamlined interface, a less clunky talent system, and the ability to loot multiple targets with a single click (what a godsend!).

Of course, one of the biggest draws has got to be the fact that you get to roll a fuzzy, wushu savvy critter, and that was exactly what I did when I got my hands on a Beta Invite. I decided to unleash my paws of fury on an unsuspecting Azeroth by rolling a Pandaren Monk.

Check out the new character creation screen.

Customization's so much easier now.

The Pandaren starter zone is called The Wandering Isle, and it’s a beautiful, expansive place replete with breathtaking autumn hues, Asian architecture, and a soothing ambient track that resonated inner peace.

Just look at that scenery.

From the get-go, you get to jump right to kungfu fighting.

The introductory quest has you picking up hand wraps and punching target dummies into oblivion, before embarking on a journey that’s rife with ancient Chinese secrets, mythological and pop culture references galore (coughcoughAvatarTheLastAirbendercoughcough).

Meet Huo, the spirit of fire.

Training pools that change you into cute critters when you hit water. Kinda like in Ranma 1/2.

Eventually, you’ll also get to meet (and beat up) plenty of new creatures indigenous to The Wandering Isle, including the monkey-like Hozen, Virmen rodents, and sentient plants called Scamps.

It's like whack a mole. Except with rabbits.

And since we’re on the topic of beating on things, I’m going to talk a little bit about the Monk.

The Monk is the second “hero” class to be released (the first being the Death Knight), and it’s a class that’s incredibly versatile.

Naturally, you start out with plenty of ways to dish out punishment. You use Energy as your core mechanic, and rack up Chi points when you perform basic attack moves.

Chi points lets you deliver stronger attacks with additional effects while you’re in specific stances, such as the Tiger Palm, which strikes for extra damage on tough foes, and the Blackout Kick, which is kinda like an execute ability, dealing massive damage and refunding a Chi point if you kill the opponent.

What’s more, specializing unlocks a plethora of abilities that lets you fulfill either tank, healer or damage roles.

The Brewmaster specialization.

Players of the Warcraft 3 will probably remember the Brewmaster Chen Stormstout, who’s the inspiration behind the tanky Monk spec. Familiar abilities include Dizzying Haze and Breath of Fire, and its damage mitigation mechanic is an ability called Stagger, which lets you reduce the damage you take by delaying it and converting it into a Damage Over Time effect.

The Windwalker specialization.

The Windwalker, on the other hand, plays a little bit like a ninja. It’s a specialization that focuses on building Chi points, and dishing out rapid fire martial arts attacks. The baseline ability for the Windwalker is Fists of Fury, which combines a potent stun with multiple hits in a frontal cone. How cool is that?

The Mistweaver specialization.

Perhaps the most unique of all is the Mistweaver spec, which uses Mana as a resource and encourages you to get up close and personal while healing your allies. Much of the Mistweaver’s powers deal damage, or require that you deal damage to heal your allies, and that’s a play style that’s going to take a bit of work to adapt to.

I’ve been having fun with the Mistweaver spec, and likely as not, it’s going to be the spec I’ll be sticking to when the new expansion hits stores later in the year.

And now, it’s back to Pandaria for me.

Until next time, cheerio!

DN101: Preparing for your Dragon Nest OBT Experience

13 Aug , 2011,
Crimson
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Dragon Nest - Login Screen.

This coming Tuesday (16 Aug), the gates of Lagendia will be thrown wide, and adventurers will flock once again to Prairie Town and Mana Ridge, where they’ll be thrust into the world of of adventure and excitement that is Dragon Nest.

The Open Beta Test begins at 2 pm (local time), and if you’re not already prepared, here are some quick tips to help get you ready to tussle with the goblins, minotaurs, dragons and everything in between the minute the OBT kicks off.

1. Download the Game Client

Getting started with the OBT is as easy as starting up your game client and patching it if you were in the CBT. If you’re a Dragon Nest virgin, though, you’d want to pop over to CherryCredits to download the game client. Check out the Dragon Nest official site for more details. Once you’ve got the game installed, you’re set to move on to the next part.

2. Choosing a class

Pick a class, any class.

Like most MMOs out there, you get the pick of one of several starter classes, loosely categorized into melee and ranged archetypes. The male sprites – Warrior and Cleric, tend to be close combatants, while the female sprite (predictably) – Archer and Sorceress wield long ranged attacks.

Do you like to get into the thick of things, racking up combos and kills, or do you prefer to hang back, cast spells into enemy ranks, and watch things explode?

Picking the kinda class that suits your preferred play style will go a long way towards making your experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

This is all the more relevant since Dragon Nest’s got a steep leveling curve and an EXP fatigue system, and the last thing you want is to scrap your character after making it all the way to a major milestone. Check out the roles and powers of your advanced job classes too, because those tend to vary.

3. Abilities & Skill Trees

In Dragon Nest, you pay for new abilities in gold and skill points once you hit the appropriate level. With so many abilities, both passive and otherwise available, it’s tempting to put points into every single one of them, just to see how cool they are. But with skill points being really, really limited (you get an average of 10 per level up), you’ll want to plan ahead, just so you don’t gimp yourself later.

Some abilities are just that much more effective than others, and with certain powers being prerequisites to higher tier skills in your advanced job class (which you attain after Level 15), planning ahead is an absolute must. This is especially pertinent since there aren’t any free or easily accessible skill reset mechanics in game.

A useful tool you’d probably want to bookmark is the Dragon Nest Skill Simulator. It’s been updated to the latest edition, and I’ve found it invaluable for planning Crimson the Cleric’s abilities.

Crimson's Skill Picks - Cleric Tree

Crimson's Skill Picks - Priest Tree.

4. Partying is Invaluable

Bring your friends to Lagendia. Convince them to join you in your quest to liberate the world from dark and corrupt forces, because rather than penalizing you  for partying up with your friends, you’re actually rewarded when you don’t go at things solo.

You actually get bonuses for doing instances with your friends, and these bonuses can stack as high as 60% so long as it’s a chap on your friend list. This can be invaluable when you’re exploring the Shadow Forest and Frost Hills early on, and can get you from Level 1 to 10 much, much quicker.

The Blessings Bar, a.k.a. EXP fatigue meter. You're gonna be bummed when you run out because the leveling curve's insane!

The rate at which you burn through EXP fatigue is also reduced when you do instances, so be sure to keep your friends close, especially when you’re grinding those hard modes!

And there you have it. Some simple tips to get you started on Dragon Nest.

When Tuesday rolls around, Crimson the Cleric will be at Mana Ridge, smacking goblins around with the best of ’em, so if you see me in game, don’t forget to drop me a whisper, or add me to your friend list!

Until then, folks. Cheerio!

It's rad, it's mad, it's Realm of the Mad God!

19 Jul , 2011,
Crimson
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Introducing Realm of the Mad God. XD

So thanks to a friend from my forum dwelling days, I’ve been introduced to the most amazing time waster ever.

What’s more, it’s web-based, flash driven, and most importantly, work friendly.

What I’m talking about is Realm of the Mad God, a browser based MMO game in the vein of old school 8-bit goodies like Gauntlet and Zelda.

It’s got a cult following and is steadily soaring in popularity, just like it’s 8-bit indie buddy Minecraft.

But instead of digging tunnels, building deathtraps filled with lava and dodging zombies, you take on the role of an adventurer transported by the Mad God Oryx into his realm as chattel for his minions.

Needless to say, you don’t take to becoming food kindly, and fight back!

I've got my robe and wizard hat on, and I'm here pew-pewing a boss (guy with the crown). XD

Initially, you can only play a wizard (with requisite robe, staff and wizard hat), but as you advance in levels, more jobs soon become available, such as the priest, archer and rogue.

There’s even advanced classes like the necromancer and sorcerer, who become available when you survive your way to level 20.

Yes. The aim of the game is to survive, because death in Realm of the Mad God is permanent.

I decided to go for a quick coffee break, and when I came back, my character had been ignominiously slain by a slime! The horror and indignity of it all!

Still, the game’s incredibly addictive, and since then, I’ve had my revenge spending hours and hours blasting Oryx’s nasties to kingdom come.

Dying kinda sucks. But you do get achievements and fame for it! XD Die enough, and you can rack up fame to buy some cool gear.

It helps that the music loop’s pretty catchy too, and the action’s really pretty intense, especially when you’re dealing with boss rank nasties.

If you dig something cool and retro like this, hope on over to the official Realm of the Mad God page to give this game a try.

I promise you, you’ll likely love it.

One flew over the Dragon Nest: Crimson's Dragon Nest CBT Experience, Part 2

15 Jul , 2011,
Crimson
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In my previous entry, I wrote about my initial impressions of Dragon Nest, the latest free-to-play fantasy themed MMORPG by Cherry Credits and Shanda.

Since them, Crimson the Cleric has traversed the snowy foothills and forests of Mana Ridge, braved the perils of Parelina’s Rest, raided the Silent Monastery, conquered Marian’s Shrine, and followed the mysterious Black Knight’s trail to Calderock Village.

After poking around in the surrounding areas a little bit and taking a gander at the lore of the game, I managed to make Level 15, which meant Specialization time. In Dragon Nest, when you hit 15, you are eligible for your first specialization (there’s presumably a second specialization later on). In the case of the cleric, you can either specialize as a stalwart tanking paladin, or the lightning bolt tossing, relic summoning priest.

Since I’ve always been a fan of casters, I decided to go the priest route.

The Path to Priesthood

1. Master Cleric Jermain, the class trainer in Calderock Village, wonders if Crimson the Cleric is experiencing a crisis of faith after the debacle at Mana Ridge, and suggests that he go soul searching.

Say hi to Master Cleric Jermain, who tells you about your Destiny.

Yep. It's exactly like he says.

2. In a series of flashbacks, our intrepid hero gets transported into his past, and he has a chat with his best friend Jake about happier times and the role a Templar plays in the grand scheme of things.

A blast from the past - Cleric Jake.

3. After this short scene, Crimson is transported back to Jermain, who invites him to enter the Chamber of Trials.

Let's go to the Chamber of Trials!

4. In the Chamber of Trials, he defends his faith – it’s a cute hound (the game’s mascot) – from other nasty hounds. Bash them hounds, and breaks down the walls inhibiting him from progress!

Protect your faith from the bad hounds! XD

Bust down the walls to progress.

5. In a final confrontation, he challenges Jake, and upon his defeat, is transported back to Jermain with greater clarity of purpose.

It's Jake, the Cultist!

With Jake's defeat, you've made peace. For now. XD

6. Next, Crimson advances to the Raider’s Ambush Point where he has to vanquish evil and once again meet with Jake. Making peace with Jake, our hero returns to town, where, with conviction, he tells Jermain that he intends to become a priest.

What secret does the Raider's Ambush Point hold?

Hello, ugly.

Defeat the hobgoblin, and rendezvous with Jake to complete your task.

Talk to Jake, and muster your conviction.

7. Class advancement get! There’s also a shiny new wand in it for you.

Return to Jermain to gain your reward.

 

 

 

Playtesting the Priest

The Priest class is pretty interesting, in the sense that it’s nothing like what you’d expect out of a traditional caster. You’ll still retain the bulk of your short ranged lightning attacks and kick attacks (the kick attacks are essential to keeping mobs off you), but you do get a big boost to your spell powers.

The first tier spells include Lightning Bolt, which hits multiple targets in a straight line, and the Lightning Relic, which summons a stationary totem that spews electricity.

The Priest's skill tree.

Long cooldowns, however, meant that chaining spell attacks together was considerably tougher, and that I had to include routine wand strikes and kicks into my combos, as well as fall back on Charged Bolt and Lightning Strike. Luckily, I had those jacked up pretty high, because they’re the prerequisites for the majority of Priest skills.

The Lightning Relic - full of zappy goodness.

Busting out a lightning bolt for lots of combos!

As a test of Crimson the Cleric’s newfound powers, I decided to try soloing Abyss Mode, the hardest dungeon mode in the game. It’s scaled for 4 players, features twice the usual amount of monsters and bosses, and monsters tend to have a plethora of ridiculous powers such as regeneration and enhanced damage.

Thanks to the awesomeness of Lightning Relic, and lots of kiting and hiding from mobs, I just barely made it. XD

Priest rocks. I guess when the game goes live, I’ll definitely be playing one.

Skill Points – Careful does it

While you do gain a fair amount of skill points (10) at each level up, I’ve yet to discover any in-game mechanic that allows you to re-spec or reset your skill points. Maybe there will be an in-game item available via the cash shop at a later time, but until then, it’s probably a good idea to hoard some of your skill points.

I made the mistake of putting points in attacks I hardly use, such as Divine Combo, Counter Blow and Sliding Knee Kick, and these meant I gained access to my Priest powers significantly later since I didn’t have enough skill points to activate them right off the bat.

Also, from the looks of it, there’s a limit to how many skill points you can allocate to a single tier, and if you go over the cap, you’ll not be able to put points in later skills.

A handy reference I’ve discovered is the Skill Simulator, available here. Check it out, and it might help you plan ahead.

Something special just for CBT Testers?

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the Dragon Nest SEA forums, CBT Testers are in for a special treat. If you manage to make Level 24 by the end of CBT, you’re eligible for a special title which grants you and your future characters (it’s one per account) a +2 bonus to all stats in OBT and beyond.

It’s like a badge of honor, and the stat buff isn’t shabby either, so if you’re a CBT tester, time’s ticking! I’m currently only Level 16, so hey, that’s 8 more levels for me. Guess I know where my weekend’s going.

Cheerio! XD

Enter the Dragon: Crimson's Dragon Nest CBT Experience

13 Jul , 2011,
Crimson
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Dragon Nest - Login Screen

I’ve been excited about Dragon Nest since I first saw the demo at Comifest 2.

Today, Cherry Credits kicked off the Dragon Nest SEA Closed Beta Test (CBT), and as one of the lucky peeps with a beta key, I’ve been running around since mid afternoon, bopping goblins and other nasties with wild abandon.

Published by Shanda, Dragon Nest is a free-to-play MMORPG taking place on the mythical continent of Lagendia.

You take on the role of a hero prophesied to save the world, uncovering a world spanning plot rife with fell magics, betrayals and skulking cultists as you traverse a series of instanced dungeons, level up, and unlock new pieces of the puzzle along the way.

1. Character Creation

Behold - Crimson the Cleric. XD

Creating a character didn’t take more than a couple minutes.

There were only four classes to choose from – the cleric and warrior, both melee combatants, and the archer and sorcerer, who possessed long range attacks.

After selecting a class, you’d have a few options to customize your facial features, hair styles, colors, and the look of your starting gear.

It was a shame that genders were fixed (which meant no male sorcerer for me), so I settled for the next best thing – the cleric.

A few mouse clicks later, and I was off.

2. Action Packed

Unlike traditional MMORPGs, Dragon Nest evokes the feel of an arcade game. You move with the WASD keys, turn with your mouse, and mash buttons to deliver your attacks, racking up combo points while you’re at it. Space bar lets you jump,  and you can pull off attacks even while you’re in mid-air.

Using a wand is pretty zappy.

Casting Charged Bolt!

I quickly discovered that each class could equip a variety of weapons, and these weapons affected their mode of play. The cleric, for example, could equip either the mace, the flail or the wand.

The mace had a short range and light damage, but could dish out the most hits quickly, allowing for multiple combos, while the wand was slow, but capable of zapping people with lightning at range, sometimes paralyzing them.The flail was somewhere in between (and probably my favorite), allowing for greater versatility.

The right mouse button, which could fire off a special attack (in this case, the cleric could deliver a roundhouse kick that knocked targets back), could also be pressed multiple times at higher levels to execute additional attacks. This allowed for a lot of variety in terms of combat maneuvers (making it a whole lot like DC Universe Online) in addition to the skills you could map to hot keys.

3. Dungeon Driven Storyline

Also, unlike traditional MMOs, where you’re running around a persistent world killing boars, talking to NPCs, and generally playing fetch and kill, the story of Dragon Nest unravels in a series of quests, and these quests take you through a variety of instanced zones.

The instance selection interface.

In these zones, which range from snowy fields to musty dungeons, you complete numerous objectives, such as hunting down an item (marked with a convenient question mark), slay monsters, or collect item drops.

The beauty of the instance system is that you don’t have to fight with two million other players for item drops or mob kills (which could be a problem in games like Rift and World of Warcraft), and can even go at a dungeon alone without the hindrance of partying with people who don’t pull their weight, ninja looters, or annoyances in general.

This makes Dragon Nest incredibly friendly for solo play (though the best gear and rewards still drop on 4 man dungeons in Abyss mode).

4. It takes Skill

A cleric's skill tree. XD

Also, unlike most conventional MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, where you purchase spells from trainers and use talent points to improve your abilities, you gain new skills by unlocking them, either with a skill book drop (it’s random) or by unlocking them at your class trainer at the cost of skill points (or SP).

Leveling skills up also requires skill points, and since you only have a small amount of skill points at each level up, it pays to plan ahead, and choose your skills wisely.

I decided to go the lightning route, so I put the bulk of my skills into lightning attacks, and some into attacks keyed off the kick ability, to knock people back and keep ’em away while I’m casting my pew pew magic.

5. What’s my game?

As a cleric affiliated with the Templars, I was thrust right into the thick of things when a caravan transporting a religious artifact was beset by goblins, and the relic stolen.

Escorting the survivors to the nearby town of Mana Ridge, I was instantly tasked by my superiors to recover the item, sparking a chain of events that unravel the threads of a conspiracy of the highest order.

It was fun going through the motions and reading the dialogue. The NPCs were fairly well written, and other than a few minor hiccups in the grammar and syntax (they’ll probably be ironed out when the game goes live), the dialogue proved to be polished.

Admittedly, it would have been great if multiple quest objectives could be completed in a single instance run (the way it’s programmed, some quests are mutually exclusive), but in general, I didn’t really mind it. The addition of Blessing Points (kinda like Rested XP), which granted bonus experience points during dungeon runs was also a plus, and really contributed to speeding up the otherwise slow leveling curve.

I was a little disappointed by the loot tables though. I rather expected the system to be smarter, and that dungeons would be seeded with items my class could actually use, rather than loot for other classes. I was bereft of new gear and weapons (the game kept giving me sorcerer or warrior gear) for more than 10 levels, and barely got by with quest rewards.

Perhaps this will be remedied at a later point, and class specific gear might be made more readily available.

I’ll be writing more about my Dragon Nest CBT experience in the days to come, so bookmark this blog if you’re interested! I’m gonna get back to grinding in the mean, because I’m this close to 15, where I can get my first specialization! XD

Until then, cheerio!

Frostmourne hungers!

1 May , 2011,
Crimson
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Frostmourne! How cool is that? XD

Nothing screams World of Warcraft like the legendary Frostmourne, the enchanted runeblade of Lich King Arthas Menethil, and guess what? I just got my paws on a life sized, latex replica from Windlass Studios in the mail yesterday!

Crafted from heavy duty latex foam with a solid core, the blade’s a stunt ready and convention ready take on the original metal version that allows for a decent boffing, with none of the potential for blood shed.

This tasty piece of loot’s going right into my Warcraft cosplay trove, so expect to see me wielding this awesome legendary tier weapon at Cosfest, and beyond!

CosCards!

20 Apr , 2011,
Crimson
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My first CosCard, featuring my Corruptor's Raiment Warlock cosplay. XD

So after procrastinating for almost half a year, I caved and decided to get some CosCards printed.

If you haven’t guessed already, the word CosCard is an amalgamation of Cosplayer and Calling Card.

CosCards often feature said cosplayer in a defining costume and pose, and include both contact information, and sometimes interesting bits of trivia. Designs also tend to be personalized, either for the cosplayer, or the story the character is from.

CosCards are more than just a novelty. They’re handed out at cons to photographers, by way of introduction to new cosplay friends, and even traded, just as if they were cards from a collectible trading card game.

Also previewing Joey (Lord Angelus)'s CosCard. XD

It just so happens that I’ve made a limited stack of CosCards, printed on matt paper with a linen finish that I’m giving out to readers of my blog, so if you want one, leave a comment, and we’ll figure out how to send you one in the mail.

And if you live overseas, I’d love to hear from you too. I’m always keen to make friends with cosplayers from other countries and cultures, so let’s do an exchange, alright? XD

Also, for those peeps who might be wondering where I got my CosCards printed, it’s at Leadership Trading and Supply (No. 1 Sophia Road, #01-51 Peace Centre, Singapore 228149).

They’re reasonably priced, and the quality’s pretty amazing. If you’re looking to print your own CosCards, and if your stuff’s already been shopped and sized (the standard size for a name card is 9 cm x 5.5 cm, by the way), you can even get it done in under an hour!

How cool is that?

Until tomorrow, cheerio! XD